Veronica Pontis

'Lots of people here are very like-minded in their love of adventure and the outdoors...'

  • Veronica Pontis

Study Abroad student

Certificate of Proficiency Science

‘I chose to study at UC because it gave me the best of both worlds, an opportunity to study biology in the context of New Zealand, as well as an ideal location to explore the great outdoor wonders of the South Island,’ Veronica says.

US Study Abroad student, Veronica, has always had a strong interest in human physiology. Her passion for sport and well-being has inspired her goal of becoming a physiotherapist. By studying biology at UC, Veronica is gaining a crucial background which will aid her postgraduate studies.

‘I have been active in sports all my life, and with that comes injuries. Being in and out of the training room and physical therapy for various injuries, I became intrigued by the treatment that both I and others were receiving.

‘When it comes to the human body, there is so much to learn about how everything functions as a cohesive unit, and what factors affect each part. Biology is also extremely applicable to myself, as a collegiate athlete, as I can always learn more about how to improve my health and performance.’

A key decider for Veronica was how close UC is from the action! Being situated in the centre of the South Island, UC is a gateway to the great New Zealand outdoors.

‘Lots of people here are also very like-minded in their love of adventure and the outdoors, which results in tons of student-planned activities and trips.’

Seeing other students enjoying the outdoors has been encouraging for Veronica, and her natural love of sport encouraged her to join a number of clubs on campus.

‘I love that UC has so many clubs and opportunities to get involved with other students. It’s really nice to walk out to Ilam fields and see so many students getting involved in the various club sports, and hearing about the amazing adventures that people in other clubs have.

‘I am currently a part of the Canterbury University Tramping Club (CUTC), play on the UC club soccer team, and take yoga classes at least one a week at the Rec Centre on campus.’

UC offers a range of accommodation options for students. Many internationals, like Veronica, stay in the Ilam Apartments. The Ilam Apartments are a hive of activity with students from across the globe coming together to learn, socialise and explore.

‘Living at Ilam Apartments is amazing because it is right across the street from campus. It is very convenient to live so close to school and with lots of other people around to meet. Many students here are international students as well, which makes it a bit easier to relate to one another.’

Life in New Zealand can be a little different than overseas, and not just because there are more sheep than people! Veronica found the freedom and accessibility of the great outdoors to be well worth the initial adjustment period.

‘At first, coming from a small private school, it was a bit hard to adjust to not always seeing my friends around campus. However, once you get used to the flow of things, and settle into your classes, life becomes a lot easier. I have found that here there is a lot more freedom to students to be able to explore. People around are very friendly to you and want to help you explore this beautiful country.

‘Additionally, you meet a lot of likeminded students who are also here from different parts of the world, and who have similar goals as far as adventuring goes. This makes it much easier to form friendships because people are more than happy to let another person join the adventure.’

Going forward, Veronica is looking to an exciting career in physiotherapy, aiming to work in either geriatric or acute rehabilitation care.

‘I want to get my doctorate of physical therapy to become a physical therapist. My current thoughts are that I would like to work with the geriatric population in an outpatient orthopaedic clinic, however the hospital acute rehabilitation setting also fascinates me.’

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